After three days with my fellow Whidbey Bioneers, I feel like something plenary speaker Joanna Macy described as “a huge, big, beat-up old faithful, strong heart.” I am aching. I am hopeful. I am two sizes bigger.
Some things changed for me this weekend: my road looks steeper and more winding, but I feel I travel it with many friends. Some of my fellow Whidbey Island Bioneers are going to be with me for life, I’m sure. I now see my own personal causes as faces on one whole world in transition, and I see connections where I didn’t before. I am inspired to be better. To act more intentionally. To engage more fully. To live this life with courage, digging in. After spending a weekend discovering the affinities and differences among “the choir,” I have learned that this activism business is not a matter of “us” fixing “them”. “Us” is a nebulous concept. The Great Work is bigger than that, better than that, and harder than that. I have shaken off the delusion that someone else can fall into line and allow the future of which I dream. I must create it myself, alone and alongside each fellow dreamer.
This was my first Bioneers conference, and I went in with a smile. Like-minded people, inspiring talks, engaging workshops, good music, great food, beautiful surroundings. What could be better? What I didn’t expect was the hard work or the perfect synchronicity: to hear exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it (thank you, Dakila, Joanna, and Heather) and to be put back together when I felt broken apart (thank you, Kim, Andy, and Ambrose . . . to name just a few).
We’ll be sharing photos, videos, and recollections from the 2013 Whidbey Island Bioneers Conference here and on our Facebook pages (Whidbey Institute; Whidbey Island Bioneers) in the coming days. In the meantime, we have life-changing, earth-shaking, deep work to do. The future we dream of is coming, and it needs each of us.